Innovation mentor community of practice: a social network analysis perspective
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PurposeTo exploit collaboration-driven innovation, in recent years, many government-sponsored innovation programs and mentor services have emerged. These services support an effective exchange of knowledge among innovation actors, including innovation mentors and enable mentor connectedness as an important factor to develop and sustain effective innovation mentors' community of practice (CoP). The purpose of this paper is to examine the degree of connectedness in an innovation mentor CoP. Design/methodology/approachIn this study, the innovation mentors CoP as part of a national innovation program is considered a network. The connectedness and assortative mixing of this CoP and the effects of these two on each other were examined by using social network measures, including component analysis, the giant component (GC) and assortativity. FindingsThe authors provide the analytical interconnectedness results for both the GC and the whole network with network analysis and assortativity measurements of three attributes of mentors (institution, title and degrees). The degree of correlation of community for the GC shows preferential attachment between high-ranking and low-ranking mentors, while preferential attachment was not observed for the whole network. The correlation coefficient for the institution attribute has the highest value for GC, while the title has the highest value for the whole network. Originality/valueThe study is one of the early attempts to apply social network analysis for an innovation mentor CoP. This study reveals the criticality of evaluating the GC and the whole network separately and provides a number of research and practical directions that will contribute to the development of the innovation mentor CoP.